weather on the Rivera was hot and my
new traveling companions were
trip was divided into three parts, the first, was a three day
Nice on the French Rivera, second, was the Rhone River
lastly were the excursions to the Loire Valley and then
to Paris for two days.
trip started with flights from Syracuse to Washington to Frankfort
finally to Nice. The weather in Nice was hot and it was a
very busy time in Nice as it was summer vacation time in Europe.
can see the beach in late July was very crowded.
I was there in
November the year before and there were no swimmers.
was covered with small stones, not sand.
It did not look very
comfortable to lay out on.
picture is from an afternoon trip to two medieval villages in the
hills above Nice.
St. Paul and Gourdon were picture postcard type
towns. The streets were
narrow and full of shops selling
everything from art to postcards.
one of several Picasso sculptures found in a garden at a Picasso
museum located at Artibes on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
was somewhat disappointing as there were very few works
of them famous
artist on exhibit. There were many platters that
he had decorated on display.
It was explained that his paintings
were in other museums around the world.
two, we toured Nice in the morning and then bussed to Monte Carlo.
am in front of the Monaco Royal Palace. I have a new Panama hat
to keep the sun from my brow. (The hat was made in Ecuador.) The
guard is about to change. Their white summer uniforms
not as colorful as the blues of winter that I saw in November.
part of the multi-tiered park in front of the famous Monte Carlo
A really beautiful setting. They were adding a new
giraffe to the sculptures
found in this small park. The pools and
fountains were very pretty.
departed Nice after our three day stay and were bussed
to the city
of Aix-en-Provence. We toured ancient Roman ruins.
founded in 123 B.C. by the Romans. This was a mime who
his talents in the main plaza of Aix. We had a very
tour of Aix and saw many interesting
sights and several old
river cruiser Ravel.
At Arles, we boarded our river cruiser for our trip up the Rhone
The river has been changed by the placement of dams along
so we really traveled on one lake after another. This is
the river cruiser
Ravel. It will be our home for the next week.
The Ravel is only a
couple of years old and was built at a cost of
12 million dollars.
It only draws 4 and 3/4 feet so it can sail
the river quite nicely. The ship
had a crew of 29 and we were a
traveling group of 121.
Everything on the ship was first class in
Arles on the Rhone River, we toured the town see more Roman ruins
and to learn about Van Gogh who loved Arles. His paintings
town were noted by markers found around the town.
the site of one of Van Gogh's famous paintings
of the yellow
building with arches.
the marker noting the spot where Van Gogh painted
picture. A copy of the
painting was attached to this marker.
stop on the cruise was at Avignon where we toured
the Palace of
the Holy See. The Popes left Rome in the 14th century and
settled in Avignon. The Palace was beautiful and our tour
pointed out the influence of the Popes beginning with Clement V.
Many Popes who lived in the Palace added to it over the years.
a shot of the Palace from the river. As we sailed away from
Avignon we went under the famous Bridge of Avignon to sing
song about the bridge.
is a picture of the Ravel in one of the many locks were
on the Rhone. Most locks were high and long to accommodate the
river traffic. In some cases the Ravel would just fit into the
lock. The ship's
steering cabin would often have to slide into
the deck in order
to clear the lock's bridges. It was moved by
sailed to Vivers, where we had an evening walk to visit an old
cathedral located on a bluff high above the river.
was beautiful. The cold beer in a bar in
town was perfect on this
a picture of the old cathedral in Vivers.
I am on
deck waiting for us to dock at Tournon. We are going to take an
hour and half train ride into them hills above Tournon.
It was a
great trip with beautiful scenery.
for our train ride!
stop was Vienne. This was a very interesting twelfth-century
Romanesque-Gothic cathedral. The Cybele Gardens were in the Roman
ruins of the town. Pictured above is the mini-acropolis built in
located in down town Vienne. It was a beautiful structure.
theatre Roman was very impressive.
They hold summer jazz
port of call was Lyon. A neat town to visit.
our last stop on the Rhone River. A very interesting city with
many things to see. Pictured above is the Basilica of Notre Dame.
on a bluff high above the city. A magnificent structure.
have sailed on the Saone River toward Dijon. The river locks are
more frequent and the river is shallower than the Rhone.
I am on
my extension trip to the Loire Valley. We have left the river
cruiser and are being bussed about the valley. In this picture, I
one of the many vineyards in the Burgundy region of France.
is in Clos de Vougeot. The vines where I am
standing are lush with grapes.
I found out they pick the grapes
on the lower sides as they are more flavorful.
We saw huge wooden
presses that were used to squeeze the juice
from the grapes in
the way to Blois we had a stop in Vezelay which was an
pilgrimage site in France. In 1164, St Bernard preached in
of the Second Crusade and in 1190, Phillippe-Auguste
the Lionhearted met here to set off on the Third Crusade.
Vezelay, I looked over the Mercedes Smart car.
vehicle as you can see.
They cannot be exported to the USA. They
our week of sailing on the rivers of France we were bussed
Blois in the Loire Valley. This would be our home for a couple of
Pictured above is the Chateau found on the main hill in
It dates back to the 10th century. This shot is of the
side of the chateau.
King Louis XII was born in the chateau. A
very impressive structure.
Another view of
the Chateau in Blois. The scenery from
the Chateau was very
panoramic. You could
see the county side for miles.
second day in Blois, we toured three Chateaux located
in the Loire
Valley. The first was Chenonceau. It was in a beautiful setting
with the chateau spanning a river. There were many well planned
around the chateau. It was built in 1513 on the site of a
medieval fortress and old mill.
beautiful Chateau! The chateau Cheverny was built in
1634 in the
almost symmetrical classical style. The tour inside showed
artifacts of the various periods when it was home
family nearly seven centuries.
our last stop of the day and it was a truly
structure. Unfortunately, we did not
get to visit the inside of
Chateau de Chambord.
I wish we had had time to tour the chateau.
day we bussed to Chartres on our way to Paris.
We had a late
morning lunch time visit to the 13th century Chartres Cathedral.
It is a magnificent structure and is larger than Notre Dame in
We were given a guided tour of the cathedral.
glass windows were beautiful.
This is a truly imposing structure.
bus ride to Paris was uneventful. Our driver and program
were worried because it was the start of the French vacation
They were sure that the streets and highways would be
of people heading to the country for vacation. We did not
traffic problems all the way to Paris.
am in Paris in front of Notre Dame which
is a mob scene. I saved
my visit for another trip.
the afternoon, after our tour of Paris I had a tour of the
It is a spectacular museum. I did get to see the Mona
Lisa, Venus de Milo
and Winged Victory the museum's three "girls"
of fame. My visit as all too short.
next day we bussed to Claude Monet's home in the village of
We had a tour of the house and then visited the famous lily pond
bridge that was in one of Monet's famous paintings.
There we only copies
of Monet's painting at his house since them
originals were in various
museums around the world.
am on the bridge over the Monet lily pond. It is one of the
settings for a painting that has been copied in print from and
Our last morning
in Paris before heading home.
With me in this shot of the famous
tower is my
friend Doc Moore of Western Nebraska.
is my last picture shot in Paris on Tuesday
attending the show at the Moulin Rouge.
The show was terrific and
should be a do not miss if you go to Paris!
trip was one of my top travel experiences!
It makes me want to
return to France and Paris in the future.